Feb 26, 2020 Latest post:
Jul 15, 2020
Medical Updates: Brent hadn't been feeling himself for a while, he went to the doctor for physicals and blood tests in 2019 and early 2020 only to find out he was in fine health. It wasn't until an emergency room visit during a night of chest pains to Oklahoma Heart Hospital that a CT scan revealed a mass on one of his kidneys. From there we went to Stephenson Cancer Center here in Oklahoma City where Brent received an initial (unofficial) diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. After a more focused CT scan the doctor identified more masses on lymph nodes near the kidney. Our doctor was confident in the diagnosis, but after taking the case to a tumor board, he decided a biopsy was the best path forward to verify the mass was clear cell renal cell carcinoma. The biopsy was on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 and we received news the following Friday that it is in fact not renal cell carcinoma, more likely it is lymphoma. We are waiting for an appointment to be set early this week to see when chemotherapy can be started. 2/26 Update: Brent wasn't feeling well on 2/24 so we took him to the ER at University of Oklahoma Medical Center (OU Med) in Edmond where he was transported by ambulance to University of Oklahoma Medical Center in downtown Oklahoma City. He was admitted that evening and moved from the ER to a room where he was diagnosed with pancreatitis as well as dehydrated. The doctors were also concerned that his kidneys weren't functioning adequately and decided to start dialysis on 2/25. The doctors also said that he had tumor lysis syndrome which occurs when tumor cells are dying and the dead tumor cells can't be filtered from the blood quickly enough. Today, he got a spinal tap to see if there was any sign that the lymphoma has moved to the brain or spine but they were unable to collect enough fluid to run the tests necessary. He's feeling a noticeably better and we are hoping to start chemotherapy soon.
Insurance/Financial Assistance Updates: After being let go from his job in early 2019 Brent also lost his health insurance. Our church and community have been extraordinarily generous already but navigating the healthcare system without health insurance can be devastatingly expensive. We have submitted applications for hospital specific financial assistance and will be updating the status as we find out if/when we have been approved. We have applied for Soonercare(Oklahoma Medicaid) as well as Medicare and been denied for both. Once the marketplace is open again, we well check our options for health insurance. 2/26 Update: If you would like to donate we have set up a gofundme, you can access it by clicking the “Ways to Help” and visiting Brent’s gofundme website. The donations called “Tributes” on the caring bridge site go to them for offering this service if you would like to donate to them.
Treatment Updates: As many of you have heard, Brent is having trouble with nausea and generally feeling weak and sick. We have several prescriptions to help deal with these issues and are hopeful they will be as effective as possible until throughout the treatment. The probable treatment Brent will undergo is chemotherapy since the doctors discovered he doesn't have renal cell carcinoma. We will let you know when the chemo treatments start and how Brent is responding.
2/26 Update: Brent has received a few sessions of dialysis since being admitted to OU Med Center. He has also been getting fluids to help with dehydration. He had a PET scan, and X-ray, and a spinal tap since being here and is receiving a few different medications to help with his conditions.